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2018 at Oceanit: A Recap and Looking Ahead

Posted December 17, 2018 in Altino, Awards, Community Service, Events, STEM

Oceanit has been privileged to live and work in the Hawaiian community for over 34 years. While our growth into diverse industries and markets has been a source of learning and development, our passion over the last year has been the direct support of education and imagination here in Hawaii.

2018 kicked off with a focus on computer science opportunities for Hawai’i: our Altino coding team hit the ground running in January, with planning for numerous coding workshops to be held on Oahu and neighbor islands - for both students and educators. We set the goal of reaching 5000 teachers within 5 years using Altino as a gateway to computer coding.  In the first quarter of the year, we had the pleasure of hosting the state’s new legislators along with representatives from various departments of local government to update them on our objectives, educational projects and breakthrough technologies. We also held our first (of many) Design Thinking workshops, hosted at Oceanit's offices for Hawaii-focused non-profits throughout the islands.

From April to June, we continued our education & imagination engagement around the state. The Public Schools of Hawaii honored Oceanit’s Ian Kitajima for his incredible work to deliver innovations to improve Hawaii’s educational atmosphere. In addition, Ian was invited to attend the first ever National STEM Education Summit with the Hawaii delegation, where he learned about education initiatives from all 50 states and shared the actions being taken in Hawai’i.

Oceanit’s Altino team held demonstrations at the Onizuka Day of Exploration and the team was recognized in the Hawai’i House of Representatives for their dedication to computer science in our schools. Oceanit engineers spoke at the YWCA Girls STEM Day, Castle High School visited us to learn about future careers in STEM, and the Altino Summer Cohorts kicked off with six, one-week-long training workshops held on Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island. In addition to the numerous education events, Kamehameha Schools hosted Oceanit at their career fair to encourage kama’aina STEM career interest.

Also in April, Hawaii-local and Oceanit Coastal Engineer, Dr. Michael Foley was named by Pacific Business News to their 40 Under 40 2018 list for young professionals who are making crucial differences in the local community. Mike’s work for the Resilient & Sustainable Engineering team at Oceanit has been invaluable as we work to address critical issues like sea level rise, reef loss, beach erosion, and more. As summer ended, Oceanit continued to share STEM-inspired stories; Ian Kitajima became a regular face on ‘Geek Beat’ for Hawaii News Now, informing and entertaining viewers with news of tech innovations and their real life applications.  Marketing Director, Jay Andrews spoke at the Hawaii Business Magazine Leadership Conference on Artificial Intelligence. And AI Lead, Jeffrey Watumull was honored as a DARPA Riser for 2018 for his work in general artificial Intelligence.

In the fall, Kapolei High School hosted Oceanit's biggest Design Thinking workshop yet, for their entire 150-strong staff of educators and administrators! Oceanit also launched an effort to work with school alumni organizations to help the STEM community thrive locally, encouraging STEM professionals to discover innovation opportunities in Hawaii - and to keep local science and engineering talent at home.

The last quarter of the year built a foundation for an impactful 2019. CEO and President Patrick Sullivan spoke at both the University of Colorado Engineering and University of Hawaii Ocean Engineering schools (his undergrad and graduate alma maters, respectively) on delivering future technologies that can help save the planet. Oceanit attended the Girl Scouts STEM Fest and encouraged a new generation of intelligent women to be excited about the potential of STEM for their own futures. The EMERGE Youth Leadership Conference followed, where three of our engineers spoke to hundreds of high school students about the realities, future potential, and their experience of being in science for a career in Hawaii.

The entire team at Oceanit is grateful to the Hawaiian community for being our home for over 30+ years. The success that we have is due in no small part to the support and partnership with the island’s community and we are very grateful for that kokua. The Oceanit Ohana wishes you and yours a restful and happy holiday season, and an innovative new year!